Exploring Effectiveness and Transferring of the Components of a Cognitive Self-Regulated Instruction in Writing

Abstract: Cognitive Self-Regulation Instruction (CSRI) is a strategy-focused approach to developing composition writing skills. It comprises three main components: (a) direct instruction supported by mnemonics aimed ad developing explicit, strategic knowledge of planning and drafting strategies rules, (b) teacher modelling of these strategies and (c) writing practice in which students think aloud while emulating the teacher model. Several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of CSRI programs in upper-primary students (see for a review Fidalgo & Torrance, 2018). What is less clear is which of the three main components is or are responsible for this positive effect. This was explored in the present study.
202 8 4th grade classes (8-9 year old, N = 202), in 8 classes across 4 elementary schools. were randomly allocated to either a control condition or one of two CSRI conditions in which order of the first two components was varied: Direct Instruction followed by Modelling, or Modelling followed by Direct Instruction. In both cases the program ended with emulative practice. Performance on written composition tasks both in the genre taught in the program and in a different but related genre (a transfer measure) was assessed at the start of the program and after each component. We rated coherence, structure and overall quality of the final product. We also recorded real-time writing process data using Livescribe pens. These provide digitized handwriting traces which can then be coded to identify when and where writers pause when they write. At time of writing data collection is complete and analysis is underway. Our paper will present complete findings.
Key Words: Strategy-Instruction; Writing; Componential analyses; Modelling; Direct Instruction; Peer practice
Fidalgo, R., & Torrance, M. (2018). Developing Writing Skills through Cognitive Self-Regulation Instruction. In R. Fidalgo & T. Olive (Series Eds.) & R. Fidalgo, K. R. Harris, & M. Braaksma (Vol. Eds.), Studies in Writing Series: Vol. 34. Design Principles for Teaching Effective Writing (pp. 89-118). Leiden: Brill.